Friday, March 1, 2024

Chicago Bulls Now Telling Teams Only One Player Is “Off Limits”


The beginning of a new week, especially the NBA’s trade deadline week, means a flurry of updates regarding potential transactions in the next four days. Chicago has seen half a dozen players thrown into possible swaps, trade conversations, and a potential firesale before Thursday’s cutoff. Bright and early this morning, Shams Charania of The Athletic kickstarted the Bulls talk by presenting DeMar DeRozan as someone they’d be “open for those calls” should playoff teams be looking for a veteran score-first wing on an expiring contract. Next, The Woj Pod detailed how valuable Alex Caruso has become in the last few months and that a package “similar to OG Anunoby” is the anticipated price tag. Jake Fischer, Senior NBA Reporter for Yahoo Sports, has now joined the party with some updates regarding one Chicago guard that’s “off limits” and the most likely player to be moved in the coming week.

Coby White Is The Future In Chicago

Firmly in the running for the league’s Most Improved Player award, Coby White has celebrated a career-best season. Since Zach LaVine’s first absence due to injury at the end of November, White took the keys to the franchise and hasn’t looked back. Nearly averaging ten more points per game than last season, he’s also shooting a career-high 46.3% from the field and 39.4% from deep, on more shot attempts than any previous year. He’s also posting the highest rebound and assist totals in five years since being drafted seventh overall.

Although this week will undoubtedly be littered with head-scratching and confusion amongst Bulls’ fans, this is one move that everyone can agree is best for the future in Chicago. White’s relatively cheap contract extension has become one of the smartest moves leaguewide, and at only 23 years old, he’ll be a starting backcourt piece for several years. All-Star appearances are indeed in his future.

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Andre Drummond Labeled “Most Likely” Bull To Move

With a Coby White or Zach LaVine trade out of the question, Fischer says 30-year-old former All-Star Andre Drummond is the name to watch in the next few days. When Nikola Vucevic fell to injury for a short stint last month, Drummond’s value across the NBA skyrocketed and reminded everyone that he’s still one of the best rebounders. He averaged an absurd 17.5 rebounds in Vucevic’s absence and put up nearly 15 points per outing on almost 60% from the field. While his constant fouling issues and inefficiency anywhere outside of the paint can create liabilities, he’s the perfect plug-and-play in short stints, and any playoff team would benefit from his services.

While the trade package won’t blow any socks off, a few future draft picks or a young, undeveloped player in return would benefit the Bulls’ future more than holding onto the 12-year veteran. If Chicago’s only move this week is moving on from the second-string center despite losing their best player for the season, has the front office failed yet again? This will mark three straight trade deadlines without a transaction, on the verge of back-to-back seasons without a playoff appearance.

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